A horrible cauchemar

Hello Pétanque friends and welcome to my world.

My topic today is “cauchemar” (nightmare), a terrifying, traumatic dream that will leave you shaken and scarred for a long time.

Imagine for a minute that you are playing in a pétanque tournament; you are part of a Triplette team, and you are the designated shooter. You are good and your teammates (and fans) rely on you for bringing home the bacon.

You have reached the finals and you are a point away from victory. You just need to remove a pesky boule, standing about 9 meters away from you. An easy shot for an experienced player.

The dozens of spectators present are ready to celebrate. You walk slowly to the starting circle, wipe your boule carefully, take aim and let it go. The boule flies in slow motion toward the target… and misses. Merde, merde et trois fois merde!

You feel like you want to disappear and spend the rest of the month in a dark closet. You cannot look at your teammates in the eyes, and they don’t want to look at you.

Well, my friends, if you think that is a bad, traumatic cauchemar, you probably didn’t watch the soccer quarter-finals in Qatar, opposing the French national team to the English national team.

We are in the second half and the “Bleus” are leading 2-1. The English try desperately to score again, but the French defense is tough. They play rough and suddenly the English is awarded a penalty kick after one of their players was thrown to the ground by a French player.

“A penalty kick (commonly known as a penalty or a spot kick) is a method of restarting play in association football, in which a player is allowed to take a single shot at the goal while it is defended only by the opposing team’s goalkeeper. It is awarded when an offense punishable by a direct free kick is committed by a player in their own penalty area. The shot is taken from the penalty mark, which is 11 m (12 yards) from the goal line and centered between the touch lines.”

 A penalty kick is the worse thing that can happen to a team. It is almost a death warrant. It is extremely difficult to stop and most of the time, it is successful.

Harry Kane is a top goal scorer. This shot is only routine for him and here is a chance for the English team to equalize, and maybe win the game. The crowd estimated to be close to 90 000 in the stadium (and 10 billion around the world) holds its breath. Harry (as he should) takes his time, rearranges his socks, and delivers a mighty kick… that flies above the goalkeeper’s cage. The crowd (especially) the raucous English supporters are stunned. Harry Kane falls to his knees and sobs.

This is the ultimate cauchemar and I am pretty sure that it will haunt Harry for a long time. He is a great player, but he will probably be remembered in England as the guy who lost the Soccer World Cup in Qatar in 2022.

I am glad that the French won, but I feel absolutely terrible for Harry. A horrible cauchemar!

Alain

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